Publication Date



The Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, is part of the Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department, and is funded by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the University of Massachusetts.


Traditionally, the recognized functions of greenways include water resource protection and pollution abatement, riparian habitat enhancement and biodiversity, flood hazard reduction, recreation, environmental education, noise attenuation, microclimate enhancement (cooling and pollution abatement), and the reduction of bank erosion and downstream sedimentation (Platt, 1992). Phil Lewis simply prefers to think of greenways as environmental corridors, which he dubs "E-ways," for the four main purposes of environment, ecology, education, and exercise (1990). In this paper a fifth "e" purpose of expression will be suggested.

As a beginning four different ways of promoting expression will be illustrated with examples. These means will include personal, patriotic, creative, and social-political forms of expression. Examples to illustrate this range will include: 1. Anne Lusk's intiative with the Stowe Greenway in Vermont, where personal social expression underlies the greenway's success; 2. American emergency war gardens from 1917-1918 such as at the Fenway in Boston, where patriotism is symbolically expressed (Wolschke-Bulmahn, 1992); 3. "Meanwhile Gardens," begun by Jamie McCollough where the creative expression of people's favorite childhood places are given shape in the greenway along the Grand Union Canal in London; and 4. the former "no man's" land in Berlin, where avante-garde artists have created a radical new greenway with social-political commentary expressed throughout their outdoor environmental sculptures snaking through this long, linear strip.

This important, yet perhaps overlooked role as a source of expression to its makers and users, helps broaden the meanings of greenways, thereby contributing to their growing strength. A discussion of the range of expressions which greenways afford their makers and users will be developed in conclusion.


Section 5: Pages 1-20